Ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond has decided to face off the China-hawks amongst his former colleagues, calling for the UK-China relationship to “return to business as usual”. Despite the ongoing evidence of security threats, espionage and mass human rights violations.
Fresh from shilling for cryptocurrencies, Hammond writes that he was “only too happy” to pick up George Osborne’s pro-China agenda when taking over the keys to No. 11, despite admitting that the policy “grated on [him]” as Foreign Secretary in 2014.
He describes all the aforementioned concerns about China as “background noise” to the UK-China relationship over the past three years, and insists they’re still an essential trading partner.
“Political differences have never been and must not become an impediment to Britain’s strength. The UK’s history is one of trade-led diplomacy — a trade-first approach. We are, after all, the nation that sold boots to the Napoleonic armies while we were fighting them and ultimately defeating them. You cannot get more trade-first with that. And, quite honestly, if we only trade with people with whom we have no political differences, we can close half our ports tomorrow.”
“Political differences” is one way of putting it…